North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

It's time for the Flower & Garden Show


The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is this week and offers something for everyone.

This week marks the beginning of the 29th annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show which will run Wednesday through this coming Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. This is a world class production that is sure to get you in the mood for the upcoming gardening season. Every year I come away with some new ideas, a few new plant purchases, and an overall renewed excitement for gardening. If you have yet to partake in this event, then you should really consider going this year.

I have been attending the Show since its inception in 1989 and have never been disappointed. There is something for everyone. The over 6 acres of display gardens are the focal point of the show. They are designed to inspire us as well as educate and while not always horticulturally accurate they nevertheless convey a sense of creative energy that we can take back to our own gardens. Some are whimsical and some serious, some bold and expansive and others intricately detailed, but all will tweak our senses.

The show gardens are of course just one facet of this production. There are purchasing opportunities up the gazoo. Hundreds of commercial booths await our arrival. We can purchase new and cool plants, garden gadgets that make our gardening lives easier and all sorts of garden art. It's hard not to come away with some new treasure. My yard is littered with past purchases that are a constant reminder of the good time my wife and I had at the show. Packing purchases around while trying to enjoy the show can sometimes be a pain in the neck but the show will store things for us while we are shopping! Just don't forget to pick them up at the end of the day.

Another feature of the show is their seminars. Over 100 seminars are being presented during the five days of the show. In the past we could learn how to grow mushrooms, prune fruit trees, design with gold foliage, divide perennials, install a microspray irrigation system, garden successfully in dry sun or shade, press flowers, build a fence, make a herbal candle, train your dog to stay out of the garden, and so on and so forth. For a list of this year's topics go to

I still think one of the best ways to do the show is to stay overnight in Seattle with your spouse or a friend and spread the experience out over two days. It will be more relaxed and you won't have to worry about racing home to feed the kids or the dog. Many of the hotels offer specials during the show. If you only have one day then Wednesday or Thursday is the best before the plant selection has been picked over. Go down early so you can find a parking place and don't come home until the rush hour traffic has abated.

Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached online at


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